SPONSORED POST: Elaine Bannigan, co-owner of Pinnacle Residential Properties, writes about the real estate market during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’ve been following the news about residential real estate, you are aware that the local market has been extremely busy. In comparing this year to 2019, a quarter over quarter analysis is revealing. The number of Wellesley single family homes that went under agreement (pending) during the first two quarters of 2020 dipped roughly 20% from the same period in 2019. This reflects the number of homeowners who postponed their plans to sell and the buyers who stayed sequestered despite being anxious to buy during this period of record low interest rates. However, during the third quarter of 2020, the market returned with a roar: there was a 49% increase in the number of pending sales over Q3 2019.
This phenomenon was certainly not limited to Wellesley. Nationally, pending contract signings on homes surged to a record high in August and are now 24% higher than a year ago, according to data collected by the National Association of Realtors. Recent studies report that 37% of Americans said the pandemic has caused them to consider moving. Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents said that for 2021, they prefer to live in a suburb over a city. These respondents said they are putting less emphasis on “proximity to work” and are instead desiring “more living space,” which tends to be more plentiful in the suburbs. Many said they are looking for more square footage, larger outdoor areas, and lower population density. Cities have been underperforming in their housing markets compared to suburban markets during these recent months. This is a direct contrast to recent years when urban areas outpaced suburbs in price appreciation.
As I write this, there are only 52 single family homes on the market in Wellesley. This time a year ago there were 70. In 2018 there were 90 available that first week of October. For those of us who already live in these beautiful suburbs, we are lucky indeed.